Stay a Little Longer.

Stay a Little Longer.

A couple of college summers, Mr. Magpie waited tables at Faccia Luna in Arlington. His shifts ended late, but he routinely drove the 20-ish minutes to my childhood home in Northwest Washington, D.C., where he would eat his 11 p.m. dinner standing at the kitchen island. I learned a lot from those late night conversations: that you should never take a pen from a restaurant (he had to supply his own), that waiting tables is tiring work, that the customer is always right even if you must eat your pride to accommodate their quibbles or outright wrongnesses, and that he must have really liked me to make those midnight treks. “Tell me more,” I’d say, and he would describe the impatient guest who left a short tip, or the two women who sat in the corner all evening ordering only an appetizer, and I would imagine him navigating these interactions and wondering how anyone could not see who I did in their waiter. I felt a twinge of protectiveness, of near-jealousy, as I’d envision him accommodating both the unkindnesses and flirtations of strangers. “What else did they say?” I would pry, and he’d tilt his head back to remember. As the nights drew long, he would begin to gather himself to leave.

“Stay a little longer,” I’d plead,

and he would.

I’d forgotten these visitations (how?) until this weekend, when some alchemy of home town happenstance and dinner at a pizza joint not too dissimilar from Faccia Luna — Frankly Pizza in Kensington, MD — dredged them up. We made eyes over the table while our children fought over a sheet of stickers, and I found the delta between our lives right now and the ones we lived back in our early 20s staggering. On the way home, I had to clench my jaw to prevent tears from welling in my eyes. It was occurring to me that I now have so many of the things I one day dreamt of. That a lot of the anxious and worrisome meanderings of my twenties and thirties had finally deposited me here, in this car driving through the neighborhood of a close childhood friend, and I had my husband and two children to show for it, and it was almost unbearable to think that after decades of willing life into an arrangement that resembles the one I am now enjoying, after hurtling through time like an arrow, after positively sprinting to find a vocation that is meaningful, to conceive and raise two young children, to move around the country in search of a comfortable and permanent perch, I am now at a landing that I never want to leave. Yes, there are goals for the future, but can’t we stay here a little longer?

Time, however, keeps moving apace, unguent and slick.

“I will be seven next year,” asserts my daughter, proudly, her front teeth wiggling,

And the azaleas that bloomed yesterday now litter the lawn.

My husband brings news of the green cherries on the the tree:

“They’ll be gone within a few weeks — damned chipmunks.”

My son burst into tears this morning when I informed him that it was not, in fact, his birthday. He had been confused by the nomenclature: we’d told him “tomorrow is the beginning of May!,” and he had conflated the month with his birthday, which falls on the 31st. His mouth formed an upside down u, his brow furrowed in disappointment: I could see the shape of his tiny spirit, desperate to grow.

I pulled him into myself, smelling his little-boy hair, still downy-soft; I wiped the tears from his cheeks. I wanted to say:

“Stay a little longer.”

Even if he does not want to hear it now,

are there any supplications more beautiful?


+Despite the foregoing, I know that every phase is a good phase, and that we don’t ever lose the ages of our children: we carry them all with us, inside.

+A young Mr. Magpie and his Jeep.

+Falling in love at UVA.

Shopping Break.

+Love the fit of these trousers. So chic!

+My friend Jillian recently raved about Tory Burch’s underwire suits. I had to try this one, marked down to 60% off! More chic suits and beachwear here.

+I have been eyeing these Gia Borghini heels for awhile — the extended/angular footbed is so trendy at the moment. The Nat Note’s recent collab with Dillard’s offers a sandal with a similar look for under $120! Why do I want them in the red/orange hue?! I don’t even have that much to wear them with but SUCH a good color, and you know my mantra of going for bold colors when it comes to accessories.

+And while we’re on that subject, I love this blockprint variation on my favorite J. Crew swimsuit (the fit on this plunge style is SO flattering — I size up one size in this). Kind of obsessed with the matching shorts?

+These tote bags from L’Uniform are chic. I’ve also always thought their “tool bag” style would be a great diaper bag.

+Love a statement espadrille.

+Lusting after this Veronica Beard after spotting it on the ever-chic Caitlin Fisher.

+Scented drawer liners!

+Loving this dress from Tuckernuck. Brown/taupe aren’t worn enough — so chic and I think looks really pretty on brunettes and blondes alike.

+My daughter loves these little camisoles from TBBC. Super soft and such pretty patterns.

+The cutest bud vase.

+These Bella Tu shirtdresses are right up my alley.

+Love these mosser glass candlestick holders.

+A great gift for a gardener. These were sold out for awhile during the pandemic but are available again. Mr. Magpie received one as a gift and it blew his mind — ha! The little upgrades in life…

+Been looking for a cute duffel for my daughter. A few top contenders: this State Bags, this quilted floral (30% off, reminds me of my Vera Bradley!), this TBBC (also on sale), this daisy-print Calpak, this $30 tie-dye (love the shoe compartment), this Minnow, and this Target.

The post Stay a Little Longer. appeared first on Magpie by Jen Shoop.

Back to blog